The 10 Rules of Living Safely with Thatch

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Living beneath a thatch tile roof doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fun and warmth of an open fire, barbeque or wood burning stove. This is because when you follow some common sense guidelines you are guaranteed a safe fire in a thatch roofed(T.R.) building every time. But more about that later!

Homes that have thatched roofing are statistically no more likely to catch alight than houses with more conventional roofs. But, if a thatch roof does ignite the result is a fast and spectacular burn that destroys everything. To prevent a fire from happening these 10 simple precautions need to be followed at all times:

Preventing Fire in a T.R. Building

€ More than 90% of all thatch fires are caused by chimney sparks. To prevent this from happening you have to ensure that the chimney is cleaned regularly to prevent soot deposits.

€ You always have to ensure that the top of a chimney stack is more than five feet above the T.R. This allows sparks to escape and die-out before they settle on any part of the thatch roofing.

€ Ensure that your chimney is regularly checked to ensure that the brick and mortar is in a good condition. Special attention must be given to the brickwork area that passes through the thatch.

€ At all time an insulated lining needs be fitted where the chimney stack passes through the T.R.

€ When installing a wood burning stove in a thatch roofed domicile, one needs to ensure that only a professional with experience of thatched properties is employed to do the installation job.

€ Always install a flue thermometer to keep any eye on the flue temperature. If the temperature gets to high you can extinguish the fire before a problem occurs.

€ Never burn wet or unseasoned wood in a stove, fireplace or barbeque as this leaves greater soot deposits in the chimney.

€ Electrical wires are a part of everyday modern life, but when they are found in the roof space of a thatched building they should be checked by an electrician at regular intervals.

€ A person will also need to check their roof for signs of mice or other vermin as these small but destructive animals can cause damage to electric wires which in turn can cause short circuits in the wiring and ignite the T.R.

€ Always locate at least one smoke alarm and the appropriate fire extinguishers to a T.R. building.

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